Meet the people behind Slow Food Lake Tahoe!

Interim Treasurer | Directress of Marketing

Board Member Since 2011

Jessie Phillips has been enjoying summers in Lake Tahoe with her family for over 25 years.  Before moving to the Tahoe area in Spring 2010, she worked as an artisan baker and small events caterer in Santa Cruz, where she was very active in the slow food and organic farming communities.  Through her passion for organic, local, sustainable food, Jessie has helped bring the Truckee Tahoe community together through the Truckee Tahoe Food Swap, Community Soup Night and most recently the Truckee Community Farmers Market. As Director of Marketing, Jessie is responsible for the creative direction and distribution of all marketing materials and advertising efforts.

Relocating to Reno in Spring of 2016, Jessie is now Marketing Director at Muse Group, a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in the Food + Beverage Industry. She hopes to continue to play a key role in creating a healthy, thriving local food community in the Reno Tahoe area, through events and education.

President | Directress of Events

Board Member Since 2014

Andrea Schaffer has thrived in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe community since 2013. She came to the area with vast interest and experience in the food and wine world. Andrea first discovered the Slow Food organization over 15 years ago while living in Bologna Italy, where “slow” was a way of life and food was at the center of culture and tradition. Italy ignited her passion for food, wine, agriculture and cooking, passions that led her to a career in the wine industry in New York, San Francisco and eventually Truckee/Tahoe. When not out hiking the trails or playing frisbee with her dog, she can be found in her kitchen, cooking up delicious, healthy and “slow” meals for friends and family. Andrea is currently pursuing her interest in food and nutrition by getting her Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association. She is excited to use her knowledge and experience to help others live a healthier and happier life. She has worked with Slow Food to inspire the community to get involved in our food system since March 2014.

Directress of Development | Grant Writing

Board Member Since 2014

Heather has lived in Olympic Valley for the past 15 years enjoying everything that the mountain life has to offer. For the past 10 years she has worked at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn as a server where she has cultivated a strong passion for excellent well sourced food and wine. She has been honing her culinary skills in her own kitchen since she could stir a spoon next her Mom. She was raised on a small farm in New Hampshire where she was put to work in the garden, tapping maple trees along with small animal husbandry. Her love of the earth came to fruition with a Bachelors Degree in Soil Science from the University of New Hampshire. She studied forest soils in depth at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Northern New Hampshire before moving to California. All of these experiences have generated a strong passion for sustainable healthy food. She believes that reforming our food systems towards a sustainable future is a key factor for a healthy planet and people.

Secretary | Directress of Volunteers | Community Soup Night Lead

Board Member Since 2016

Trish moved to the Truckee-Tahoe community from her hometown of Chicago, IL in November 2010 in search of turning her dream of living in the mountains into a reality. Inspired by the simple, clean, natural beauty of the Sierras and Lake Tahoe, her awareness expanded and she began to look at food in a different light. Trish began to connect more closely with the local food systems via Community Supported Agriculture programs and Farmers Markets. She quickly became fascinated with how whole, unprocessed foods can help heal the body.  She decided to take her curiosity to the next level and earned her Holistic Nutrition Consultant certificate from Bauman College in 2016.  She now works as a Nutrition Consultant at High Sierra Natural Medicine in Truckee. Her goal is to help her clients ‘bridge-the-gap’ between traditional and holistic medicine so that they can receive the most comprehensive care possible. Additionally, Trish is Board Certified with the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and holds a 200-hour Yoga Teaching certificate through YogaWorks.  In her free time, Trish enjoys her own giant backyard - whether snowboarding, hiking, biking, climbing or practicing yoga. Her most favorite thing to do, however, is to prepare food and share it with the people she loves.

Directress of the Truckee Demonstration Garden

Board Member Since 2016

Katie Townsend-Merino is the Garden Director for the Truckee Demonstration Garden. She looks forward to her hands in the dirt and her heart in the food we grow each season! She retired after 29 years as a Professor of Psychology, Division Dean and Vice President. She fulfilled her dream of moving to the mountains full-time in Truckee and is also qualified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self-Compassion classes for Tahoe Forest Hospital. A long-time gardener, she is passionate about both using and teaching organic and sustainable gardening practices, especially as they are related to health and well-being.

Social Media Coordinator | Community Soup Night Coordinator

Board Member Since 2018

Amy began her journey with the Slow Food Movement in college at San Francisco State University.  There, she studied Holistic Health which included philosophies about health and healing with natural resources and food playing a major role.  These studies led her to be more curious and conscious about food, its sources, and its power.  When she moved from San Francisco to Truckee in Fall of 2011, she was inspired by the volunteer opportunities offered by SFLT to learn more about local food resources and the challenge of gardening in the Sierras. Her goals with SFLT include bringing people together to teach and inspire them about food – creating a self-reliant culture that trickles up into larger markets and eventually makes a global impact.  Amy is also a Certified Massage Therapist who loves to travel and spend time around her home at Donner Lake.


Slow Food Lake Tahoe's mission is to connect our community to the enjoyment of good, clean and fair food by inspiring a self-reliant food culture. We educate the community about growing, preparing and accessing local and sustainable food. Good, clean and fair food for all.

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Slow Food Lake Tahoe     |     PO Box 1351     |     Truckee, CA 96160     |     530-414-9181     |     info@slowfoodlaketahoe.org